Water truck day. 3 stops. At the first stop I was so afraid when I was in the “tap tap” (our truck). But As soon as I stepped off the truck, I felt fine. Kids; all ages, tiny toddlers, babies, older kiddos just swarmed us. They are desperate for you to hold them and just touch them.
I've never felt the feeling of such desperation from a child. The moment was overwhelming. You can't hold enough kids I was holding two at time as much as possible. The water is flowing from the truck and the women and kids are lined up with buckets. They are so desperate for clean water. The kids carry the buckets back to their "home" which consists of a couple pieces of tin and stacked garbage. At each stop, a child would "choose" me to love them, can you believe that? They cling to you and climb you, they want love so badly. I can't imagine needing love or touch so desperately that you will cling to a complete stranger.
Most of the kids are suffering from extreme malnourishment. Their bellies are bloated and eyes are yellow. I was told the kids with orange hair are dying. So my heart would sink when I saw a little with a head of orange hair. The tiniest toddlers, wander the streets naked or with the filthiest, tattered clothes, nobody watches them, nobody holds them, there is a sadness in their eyes I have never seen. I don't think I can ever explain how I felt. I feel like I'm in the twilight zone.
We walked throughout the streets while we waited for the water truck to be refilled and the kids all followed us. We walked through some of the worst areas; trash, filth, pigs, goats, chickens, broken glass, feces, rotting food, you name it...we stopped in a small clearing and all got in a circle.
Wilson, one of our Healing Haiti staff translators, started singing and all the kids started singing "God is so good", they were all smiling and singing and dancing, almost like they forgot for a second what their reality is. My heart almost stopped. The memory of the kid’s faces is burned in my brain.